Iraq's Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said Iraqis witnessed much sadness in 2007, but a sense of unity and determination made it a year of security gains.

The comment was in reference to the sharp decline in violence during the past six months.

In a televised address broadcast by Iraqi media on Tuesday, Mr. Maliki said he hopes 2008 will be a year of unity, reconstruction, economic development and corruption fighting.

Mr. Maliki recorded the message in London, where he underwent two days of medical tests.

He said in his message that he is in good health.

His address came as Iraqi police said about 30 people were killed and nearly 40 others wounded by a suicide bomber who detonated an explosive vest at a funeral in the capital.

Officials say the attack occurred in eastern Baghdad's Zayouna neighborhood, a mixed Shi'ite and Sunni district.

Tuesday's bombing follows reports from U.S. commanders that overall attacks in the country are down about 60 percent since June.

Despite the decline, authorities say 2007 was the deadliest year for U.S. troops in Iraq since the beginning of the war.

For the year, 899 U.S. service members were killed in Iraq, surpassing the previous high of 850 in 2004. The military said three 3,902 U.S. service members have died since the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

Iraqi officials say civilian deaths dropped to a 22-month low, with 480 civilians killed in December.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.